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I Didn’t Leave the Discord, the Discord Left Me: Oh, and I Didn’t Have Email

As it turns out email is more than a passing fad. Anyway, so I step away from this project for a moment and everything turns to hell. Speaking of hell, I called up Pope Francis and he assured me that hell does indeed exist; it’s a real place, and it’s very painful—even more painful than reading The Daily Discord.

Pope Francis expressed concern over how often his position has been misrepresented and his words quoted out of context. He then bitched about Zano and Bone for the next twenty minutes.

“Who turns the Vatican into a barcrawl? What’s with these guys? I had a Cardinal dislocate a hip on a beer pong ball.”

—The Pope

In fact, I went over my cell phone minutes and Mr. Winslow should probably compensate me (I’m sending along a copy of the bill).

And, in anticipation of Tony Ballz’ next article, Pope Francis asked me to set the record straight. “The Roman Catholic Church does not now, nor has it ever supported the ordination of those gay polygamous transsexual shit goblins among us. You’re thinking of the Episcopalians.”

When I helped found the Daily Discord, back in 1861, I never would have dreamed it would morph into such an amusing site of totalitarian appeasement. I must wonder whether this site ever seriously criticizes the present ruling administration. Oh, I know, Mick doesn’t like ‘serious’ articles and I was told specifically for this feature, “Unless you work in a joke about shitgoblins, McDooris, I’m not posting this crap!” Here’s the problem, Zano, pointing out the reality of a totalitarian takeover in real time is not an easy comedy piece to pull off. Incidentally, it can also get you audited by the IRS.

I call on the Daily Discord to use its influence to defend the Bill of Rights, rights that are now under attack. I know that the Bill of Rights are rather passé for you progressives, but I think that they’re worth a second look. You see, the Bill of Rights were created to ensure that individuals like you and me are protected from the tyranny of the majority to impose its will against our individual life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It’s a wonderful concept (which was also my favorite Jimmy Stewart movie).

For example, universal healthcare involves the federal government forcing all individuals to participate in a health insurance plan. But what happens when an individual, like me, chooses not to enroll in health insurance as part of their liberty and pursuit of happiness? Well, then the IRS fines me, or taxes me, or otherwise gets in my business as a penalty against my individual pursuit of happiness. Does anybody else see the problem here? You see, the Bill of Rights grants me God-given rights to pursue my life, liberty, and happiness free from all coercion from the government or the social status quo. It also protects me from the oppression of spoof news sites and editors who insist I pile goblins of shit into my important spoof news rhetoric.

You don’t have to agree with me; I have a right to be wrong. But totalitarian states don’t recognize God-given rights. So let’s say I, as the CEO of the Daily Discord, believe it to be immoral to pay for Alex Bone’s birth control? But universal healthcare forces people and churches and businesses to violate their moral dictates or face fines by the federal government? Do you all see how this is a clear violation of the Bill of Rights? Even though the vast majority of citizens feel it’s imperative that Mr. Bone be given bucket-sized piles of birth control, I have the God-given right to refuse to participate in the controlling of Bone’s reproductive capabilities.

Okay, bad example. In his case I think I’d probably make an exception. Can I call a mulligan? I’m forgetting the rules here.

Fine, Zano! Fine! So this gay guy, this transsexual, and this shitgoblin walk into a bar.

NO! I won’t do it…

Um…not on principle, I just can’t think of a good punch line. How about this, I’ll shake off the rust and you people start addressing the real issues.

Arizona’s SB1062: Fabulous Ousts Crabulous

Mick Zano

Flagstaff, AZ—Don’t fret about this veto thing. Look, the words Christian conscience should not be an oxymoron. Gays would be happy to go to your hell but the Pope just admitted it’s fictional. Of course, he may reconsider his position if he ever visits Mesa. As for eternal damnation for the gays, how about we just take a brimstone check?

No surprise SB1062 was vetoed by Governor Brewer. The bill that somehow passed the state’s congress would have allowed anyone to refuse service to any woman with short hair, or any male a little too good at accessorizing. Religions are supposed to stand for tolerance and love, but through a delicate blend of dogma and ignorance, the big three have clearly lost their way.

Look, if you really believe gays will burn in hell for all eternity, couldn’t you muster enough compassion to bake them a cake? A little sendoff type thing? Enjoy this cake before my God forever incinerates you perverts in a fiery chasm, kind of thing. If you really thought these folks would burn forever in torment, couldn’t you muster a shred of sympathy? Of course you can’t, you’re Christians.

Dear Religious Peeps,

Being religious should not be conflated with small-minded ignorance. It is today. Sorry, but don’t shoot the messenger. No, really, it’s a commandment or something.

Sincerely,

Mick Zano

Only you can change this perception and I strongly encourage you to start listening to your grand poobah. He’s a smart man. I attended the LQBTQ rally in Flagstaff on 2/23 and, of course, posed as a member of the Christian Science Monitor. Our representative Ann Kirkpatrick had a great interview over on MSNBC on the 26th. My old interview with her here.

SB1062 Protesters
SB1062 Protesters

I talked to multiple people and they all said variations of the same thing for each of my questions.

Please stop hanging out at such and such establishment, Zano!

Actually responses were so similar I bolded the collective responses from Jamie, Nino, Nicole, Frankie, and everyone else.

Brewer will veto the bill, not because it’s the right thing to do, but because she knows it will hurt the economy.

Or:

Brewer's lament

I wonder if she really feels that way. She is a republican, which is a bit debilitating these days, so who knows? Reasonableness and logic have no place in her tent anymore. She did expand Medicaid in this state, but usually republican types need to be forced to do the right thing. See: The Affordable Care Act, or the Civil War or Abu Ghraib.

I also asked everyone about the Pope. Most of the folks said they were happy with his holiness but no one could quite believe how low the American version of this bunch continues to sink. The Pope, meanwhile, is fast becoming a gaysation. So I asked everyone:

If it’s not going to pass anyway, why are you all out here being fabulous? The general response was:

How are we even having this &^%ing debate in 2014? It’s absurd.

The Christian Science Monitor only feather-ruffed one group but, hey, if I’m going to get beaten up by a group of gays it’s going to be on my terms—at that certain club dressed like Wonder Woman, damn it!

According to Kirsten Powers over at The Beast there’s inherent assumption that providing some service or another is somehow an endorsement or affirmation of a given lifestyle. This assumption smells of something we in the spoof news realms like to call bullshit.

“This case simply has not been made, nor can it be, because it defies logic.  If you lined up 100 married couples and asked them if their florist ‘affirmed’ their wedding, they would be baffled by the question.”

—Kirsten Powers, The Daily Beast

Powers then makes the case that you can’t pick and choose like that. I agree. I guess you shouldn’t provide any service for an unbiblical bunch of any kind. No one previously divorced, both individuals need to have rings on their fingers and, of course, no one should have engaged in premarital sex.

Or just hang this in your flower shop window.

No ring no hymen no service

Maybe everyone should fill out a ten page questionnaire before they receive your services? Or maybe you should all just grow the hell up…oh wait, there is no hell. But is there a heck? Hmmm. I may end up there, but what the heck.

What does the right fear more than anything? Not Hillary, they fear Sharia Law. But isn’t this shit bringing us one step closer to the bigotry of Sharia Law? At this point, isn’t everyone in the conservative tent a walking contradiction?

Closing thoughts:

Rights in general remain an embarrassment in my state, for gays for workers for anyone, but it never ceases to amaze me how one political party never thinks the crapola each citizen is forced to swallow is quite good enough. Operation: Discrimination for Freedom!

Somewhere Jesus is rolling over in his….wait, I’m being told he absconded from there…Jewdini?

Not a Discord original but glorious nevertheless
Not a Discord original but glorious nevertheless

Top 10 Guinness Pours in Tucson Revealed!

Mick Zano

Tucson is an interesting town. I immediately got a sense of the local color here, which is beige. All color in Arizona, local or otherwise, is some derivative of beige. Upon pulling into town I was greeted by a man yelling out of his car window, “Pick a lane, asshole!” and I thought, “Wow, I’m home.”

In comparison, Phoenix is akin to some giant retirement community. I think over the years all the freaks were driven south and I mean that lovingly (the under-cactus railroad?). After only a short time wandering the streets I decided it was time for a follow up to my Best Guinness in Vegas Revealed feature, as a bartender from The Hut explained, “Tucson takes its beer seriously.”

But first an important cultural observation:

Nearly every couple in Tucson had a homeless/mentally ill panhandler following them. It’s as if everyone had already paired off, into threes, or as Arizona calls it: the Jan Brewer Model. I eventually found a nice free couple and started babbling to them about ancient aliens, the Rothschild family and alternate street parking. They seemed appreciative and I made a fast buck.

Ground Rules:

I don’t rate on the six Guinness pouring principles. I rate on taste and taste alone, and I am not going to mention those establishments that didn’t make the cut, because that would be completely Maloneyious of me. So without further a-brew, onto our Guinness winners (in reverse order).

Number 10: O’Malley’s

Drinkable, but let’s move on, shall we? Had I had more time in this town, this one would have likely been dropped faster than some psychedelics with Hunter S. Thompson at the Fremont Experience.

Number 9: The Shanty

Fourth Street Tucson has a variety of cool enough sounding bars, but unless you like country and western, or Coors and Budweiser, keep moving. The closest bar on Fourth Street to my hotel, however, The Shanty, poured a decent pint of Guinness. The place allegedly has a pool table and a nice patio, but I was only able to find one of these. (Hint: don’t try shoot pool on their patio. They hate that.)

The Shanty, giant moai

Number 8: The Hut

This place spared no expense having a giant mo’ai transported all the way from Easter Island. That’s dedication. It’s a great tribute to Guinness, as I believe the mo’ai acquired the original Guinness recipe from the leprechaun’s after storming St. James’s Gate during the Alamo. Did I mention I failed history?

Anyway, The Hut is a great beach-bar-themed joint and they pour a pretty darn good Guinness.

Number 7: The Hotel Congress

Whereas I love this hotel, I didn’t have any hope for a winner here. The bartender poured my pint in about 11-seconds (and not into an imperial pint).

“Because our Guinness pours go to 11!”

—Nigel

Being quick on the draw is important in the old west, but not so much when we’re talking about a proper Guinness pour. Despite this fact, it was a surprisingly good. It reminded of the Orlean’s in Vegas. Full story here. Beginner’s luck? A fresh keg, perhaps? Not sure but it was only one staircase away from my room and any hotel with four bars in the lobby gets a Zano four star rating. Coincidence? No.

Number 6: Mulligans

This joint is not downtown, but it wasn’t too far from my conference so I decided to venture Guinnessward. Sure beats going to a conference. As the barkeep poured my drink, I thought, wow, she’s letting this Guinness settle nicely and then I realized, wow, she just forgot to top me off and abandoned my drink entirely!

So I eventually walked back over to claim my beverage and then her cohort, in charge of table deliveries, proceeded to spill half the foam onto my seat. It was like the passing of the baton—near the end of an Irish barcrawl. This method may work well in porn, but not so much during a Guinness judging contest. I kid the help. The Guinness was tasty…well, the part I didn’t sit in.

On a side note:

If this is my boss reading this, I went to the conference.

If this is my probation officer reading this, I wasn’t drinking.

Number 5: The Red Garter

The Red Garter is the kind of place I spent most of my undergraduate work frequenting. The Guinness was poured into a pint glass, not an imperial pint, but it was still a force to be reckoned with. I later heard the Red Garter is always steep competition each year at the perfect pint competition.

But Are They Sithing the Point?
Imperial Guiness Darth Vader
WTF? Even Lucas’s Imperial pints aren’t imperial!

Number 4: The World Beer Market

I ran into Kiva somewhere and she suggested I hit her alma mater, the World Beer Market. The World Beer Market was an arduous journey from my hotel room, aka, across the street. The pour there was very creamy and it tasted like a winner, but there was a bitterness that began soon after the initial sips, a bitterness that kept this puppy from the medal round. I’ve had this happen before, but I’m not bitter about it. It was still a damn good pint.

giant palm

Number 3: The Frog & Firkin

This is the view from my Guinness, well, were I to fall from my chair and pass out on my back—which, incidentally, I did while snapping this picture. Nothing says Guinness like palm trees, well, if you’re an idiot. The Frog & Firkin has a great draft selection and it’s a wonderful place to enjoy a great pint. Kudos! This establishment earned its medal round status. These last three are all winners. Mmmmm Guinness!

Number 2: The Auld Dubliner

The sister bar of this Tucson pub scored 4th in my Vegas Top 10 feature, here, so I kind of figured it would be a contender. I do like the layout of the Lake Las Vegas Auld Dubliner better. This place has the football cranking and was set up more for the college students over at nearby U of A.

Key point: People should really consider my needs when opening businesses. It’s amazing how often this doesn’t seem to be the case. This can likely be attributed to their keen desire to stay open.

To Clint’s credit, though, he beat out his Las Vegas brethren. I have been to the Auld Dubliner in Vegas several times but I think his pint is a step better. On a related brewery note, Clint talked me into trying an Iron Maiden ale, a limited edition type thing:

Maiden Beer

It’s a good beer, but as far as novelty UK beers go, Monty Python’s Holy Ale wins that contest.

“All right, we’ll call it a draw.”

—The Black Knight

Oh, and this very beer helped me catch a ghost in my haunted Hotel Congress feature, here. Onward to our winner. Come, Patsy!

Bumsteds!! Bumsteds!! Bumsteds!!!

Number 1: Bumsteds!! Bumsteds!! Bumsteds!!!

Doesn’t that beer look good? I want to head over there and get another one, right now! The beer depicted in this picture wasn’t the winner. I went back to tell Andrew the good news and he bought me a pint, which gives me a diabolical idea…hmmm. No, I wouldn’t do that…well…maybe. This pour was truly one step above the competition. Bumsteds is hidden deep amidst Tucson’s Fourth Street rabble, but I had gotten a tip they poured a mean Guinness and it turned out to be the hot tip of the trip.

Congrats Andrew! In the immortal words of Douglas MacArthur, “In war there is no substitute for victory!”

No wait, the other one, “I shall return!” In fact, maybe next weekend.

Deport Every Politician Thwarting Obama on Iran

Mick Zano

You think that’s bad? Initially I was going with drone strikes. The list of our-dangerously-incomptent-politicians-who-we-must-run-out-of-office has changed. Instead of identifying them via their support for Sarah Palin, we need to switch to all those elected officials derailing our current peace talks with Iran, D or R. Please turn in your flag lapel pins and all those donations acquired illegally before your car is towed.

I am not sure these talks with Iran will net anything either, but to jump directly to an estimated 9-trillion dollar unwinnable war without even trying diplomacy first is insane—even by republican standards.

“We tried nothing and we’re out of options…Bomb!”

—John Q. Republican

In light of recent Middle Eastern military campaigns, to skip diplomacy is another stunning republican position (SRP). That’s all they seem to bleeping have these days. Why is reality such a tough concept for this bunch? Hey, let’s repeal Obamacare again.

“To say The GOP is a one trick pony, implies the one trick actually works.”

—Mick Zano

Here’s a Venn diagram that should explain everything:

Democrat, Reality Republican Venn diagram

Even if republicans think they have a valid point regarding our economy, which is a stretch, I don’t get how they can chime in on foreign affairs with a straight face. To make matters worse, 26 Dems in congress initially broke from the president and called for increased sanctions on Iran. This week, not to be outdone, forty republican senators are pushing for increased sanctions as well—and they want them to start during the State Department’s preliminary deal. What?! You can’t be even less insightful than the last time I posted, you can’t!

The GOP has based their entire foreign policy strategy off a variation of the hairdresser’s code of Rinse, Lather, Repeat:

Bomb, Sanction, Repeat

Juan Cole has a must read post over at his Informed Comment: The 10 Reasons Americans will Regret if Republicans Derails Iran Negotiations.

“It is absolutely outrageous and very rare that Congress would interfere in diplomatic negotiations of the president. They let Bush go around invading countries but won’t let Obama try to forestall a war.”

—Juan Cole

I also agree with Juan in that a war may well trigger another economic collapse, a game ending one. The word “treason” comes to mind. It comes to mind a lot lately. Patriots for Treason? Don’t Drudge on Me? Fine, I’ll work on that one.

How can the people who brought us Bush be allowed to do this? Wasn’t there an election or something? If you don’t understand what Obama’s doing, that’s okay, you don’t understand anything anyway! So relax.

And I didn’t order the fractured Democratic Party or the side order of crazy bread. I know some of you red state Dems are trying to fit a square state into a round Fox hole, but you were elected to do the right [as in “correct”] thing, which in this case means let the maestro work. So if you have a D in front of your name, please purge the propaganda (PPP). I expect the wrong answer from the right, but not from you (hint: it helps me get stuff right).

Just a few weeks ago, optimism was on the rise—at least as far as Obama’s foreign policy legacy was concerned—but now all bets are off as Syria is emboldened, in part because we can’t get our collective shit together. Now talks with both Iran and Syria are straining like Palin on a colonial history pop quiz.

Meanwhile:

“I think that we should proceed with sanctions so that the Iranians know that this is not an American deal with them … this is a Kerry/Obama deal with them and that the rest of Congress is not behind them.”

–GOP congressman (R-CA), Duncan Hunter.

Hunter Deported to Sweden, Claims He’s Not From There. What movie?

This man is not a fringe character, he was in the republican primaries a few years back. I remember listening to his version of foreign policy issues back then, thinking, wow, how does someone manage to seem even less insightful than other republicans? Oh, wait, that was his dad. I guess the ACORN doesn’t fall from the Tea.

Many on the right now believe the wars and the state of the Middle East is predominately Obama’s fault. I can’t make this up; they really think that. I like Kaplan’s response in Obama Isn’t Disengaged from the World:

“If only he’d kept a few thousand troops in Iraq and made an open-ended commitment to Afghanistan, they claim, the insurgents would be cowed, the central governments would be stable, and the people would be prosperous and secure. To believe these claims requires a twisted view of the two wars and a deep misunderstanding of power in the modern world.”

—Fred Kaplan

What it really is, is the republican’s ongoing disengagement from reality. This is what I blog about, because unlike what they blog about, it tends to be relevant. You folks need to remember the context; I watched a president do everything wrong for eight years, and I knew it at the time. Now I’m watching a president, who I voted for, struggle to do what’s right and the same people want us to jump the shark again. Give it rest, people. Tell you what, if you win the presidency in 2016, you can end the world then. Deal?

More people are identifying the deep delusional state of our GOP, but will having a handful more journalists figure this shit out really matter in the long run? I encourage any voter considering a Republican for office to first consider just how radical they have become. Believe me, they’re not your grandfather’s Republican Party…well, they are a lot like his last few years when he kept putting his keys in the toaster.

Plight of the Phoenix: How I Stopped Worrying About On-Coming Traffic and Learned to Love the Valley

The Crank

Here are some of the dos and don’ts when driving around the Phoenix area:

1. First, learn to pronounce the city name properly; it’s FEE-NICKS. There are other names to learn such as Awatukee (Ah-wa-Too-Kee) but that will be included in the advanced (Core-ss).

2. The morning rush hour is from 5:00 am to noon. The evening rush hour is from noon to 7:00 pm. Friday’s rush hour starts on Thursday morning.

3. The minimum acceptable speed on most freeways is 85 mph. On Loop 101, your speed is expected to at least match the highway number. Anything less is considered ‘Wussy’.

4. Cars/trucks with the loudest muffler go first at a four-way stop; the trucks with the biggest tires go second. However, in the East Valley, SUV-driving, cell phone-talking moms ALWAYS have the right of way.

5. If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will be rear-ended, cussed out, and possibly shot (first offense). Thankfully, recidivism is low.

6. Never honk at anyone. Ever. Seriously. EVER.

7. Road construction is permanent and continuous in Phoenix. Detour barrels are moved around in the dead of night purely for entertainment purposes.

8. Watch carefully for road hazards such as drunks, skunks, dogs, barrels, cones, cows, horses, cats, mattresses, shredded tires, squirrels, rabbits, crows, vultures, javelinas, roadrunners, and the coyotes feeding on people who mistakenly honked.

9. If someone actually has his/her turn signal on, wave him or her to the shoulder immediately to let them know it has been ‘accidentally activated.’

10. If you are in the left lane and only driving 70 in a 55-65 mph zone, you are considered a road hazard and will be ‘flipped off’ accordingly. If you return the flip, refer to rule #6 on honking.